This post was written by Anthony Vanchure.

As a supervising sound editor at Formosa Group, I often work on a wide variety of projects. During a call with the sales team, the topic ofWeird: The Al Yankovic Story came up. As a huge fan of Weird Al, I immediately jumped in and said, "Yes, we have to do it!"

I grew up watching UHF and have fond memories of watching the music video for Amish Paradise with friends and laughing uncontrollably. In fact, I even dressed up as Weird Al for Halloween once and sent a photo of myself in costume to the producers, which helped me land a meeting with the director Eric Appel. We hit it off and shared the same vision for the film's sound, which led to me being offered the position of Supervisor. 

When I first read the script, I couldn't stop laughing and immediately began imagining what sounds would be needed for the film. Weird has all the elements of a classic biopic but with the added challenge of parodying different genres.

Along with the musical needs, there were also various cinematic moments that required different sound styles. Working closely with my friend, Sound Designer Mike James Gallagher, we aimed to create immersive soundscapes that would enhance the experience of the movie. Making sure we found the right balance between comedic and natural sounds.

There are so many fun moments in the movie, particularly during scenes featuring large audiences. When discussing the crowd sounds, Eric suggested that we aim to replicate the energy of the crowds in A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

To achieve this, we partnered with a great Loop group and dedicated an entire day to fine-tuning these scenes. In addition, we were fortunate to have direct access to Weird Al himself, who happened to be on tour while we were working on the movie.

There was one scene that required a large audience to repeatedly scream "No!" We asked Weird Al if he could record his audience that night screaming this phrase. He happily agreed and provided us with the recordings the following day. By combining these recordings with the Loop group and sound effects, we were able to effectively enhance the impact of the crowd scenes and bring them to life.

Another great crowd scene occurs in the biker bar while Al performs I Love Rocky Road. We required the sound of a rowdy gang singing along to the song. Coincidentally, it was around my birthday, so we organized a gathering of friends at my place for a BBQ and had them sing along to the tune in my garage while Mike recorded everyone. It was such a fun day. We used the recording in the scene and it really helped in bringing the scene to life.

Working on Weird was an incredibly enjoyable experience. I feel fortunate to have worked on various projects throughout my career, and many of them helped me prepare for this one. Collaborating with Mike and the filmmakers was always fun and exciting, and we never felt like we were working. We tackled every challenge head-on to enhance the movie, and every day on this film was a blast. 

This post was written by Anthony Vanchure.